During the Civil War, some Mississippi soldiers decided they didn’t want to fight for the Confederacy. The anti-Confederate rebellion in Jones County was led by Newton Knight, who opposed slavery and secession. In the spring of 1864, the Knight Company overthrew the Confederate authorities in Jones County and raised the United States flag over the county courthouse in Ellisville. The county was known as the Free State of Jones, and some say it actually seceded from the Confederac...
When Mississippi seceded from the Union in January of 1861, the state issued a Declaration of Secession, which stated, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...” However, Newton Knight and other Jones County residents did not agree with this statement and for good reason. At the time, slaves made up only 12% of the county’s total population – the smallest percentage of any county in the state.
Free State of Jones is a real story of Newton Knight, who returned alive from the Battle of Corinth in 1862, and led a group of rebellions to fight against armed forces of Confederacy in Jones Country. In his group, there were many, armed rebellious, farmers and ladies.
Newton Knight - Civil War Figure. He deserted from the Confederate Army and staged a Unionist rebellion that featured African-American and white residents of Jones County, Mississippi against the Confederacy in 1864 and 1865. They set up what was called the "Free State of Jones".
Newton Knight (November 1837 – February 16, 1922) was an American farmer, soldier and Southern Unionist, best known as the leader of the Knight Company, a band of Confederate Army deserters that turned against the Confederacy during the Civil War. Local legends state that Knight and his men attempted to form the "Free State of Jones" in the area around Jones County, Mississippi, at the height of the war.